Wednesday, June 22, 2011

When you become fluent in writing.

I've written about this in a guide format seen here, but I have to say I've learned more, and quite frankly, it's like learning a second language. I would love to be fluent in German. I know a little to get me by, but I've heard from others, who are fluent, that you know the language when you dream in that language. Is that true for writing, absolutely. It doesn't mean you know everything, but you're getting it.

So, the big debate are you a writer or not? Is that what you call someone when they have the traits below?

1. You talk to yourself. I mean, you talk to your characters. Others may think you're talking to yourself.

2. You can see what tense you're writing in. Yep, just got this one. You know my battle with it, well after tons of practice, I'm getting it. I can actually see it. Whew.

3. You constantly think of ways to describe something. I tried for hours thinking of ways to describe smoke floating over water or how to descirbe a matchbox car. It doesn't matter what it is you just think of words and when you can write them. In between my thoughts, my kids try to interrupt, but I keep trying to think of words, blocking out their little voices. Hope they didn't ask me for something. Eek.

4. You rather write than eat. Okay, I still like to eat chocolate, but I will give it up to write. Why do I hear crickets?

5. You carry a journal with tons of stuff jammed in it for ideas. Could be pictures of things, sketches, maps, tons of notes, you get the idea. You may be more organized than me. That's fine too.

6.When you talk to your significant other, you know they're talking, but you develop a haze over your eyes thinking about that one scene that will rock your MS.

7. You have papercuts all over your fingers.  Hmmm who am I talking about?

8. You look for your character in a crowd of people, hoping you can find someone that looks like your MC that's living and breathing. Yes, I'm talking about someone else--not me. I would never do this. He he. :)

9. Your best ideas come at the most inconvenient times. Totally stinks.

10. You make sure your emails are grammatically correct.

11. You look for the noun, verb, etc. in a recipe for cheescake. I'm just sayin'. You continually look for these things.

Of course, the most important thing that makes you a writer is ---you write and you love it.

Anything to add? Please do in the comments.

I actually got half way through the first draft of my MS, and I have a lot of work to do, but I'm excited for revisions. Strange.

Have a great day!


  1. I like the one about ideas coming at the worst times. But they are sometimes the best!

  2. LOL! My best ideas come to me in the shower. I've learned to keep my notepad with me because I ran out soaking wet in my towel once and a neighbor was in my living room. Great post!

  3. "You look for the noun, verb, etc. in a recipe for cheescake"<---- made of awesome. LOVE it!

  4. I just spat coke over my keyboard when I read Emily's comment!

    Hmm...9 out of 11 for me, I guess I'm a writer, yay! (I don't read recipes, I can barely cook dinner).

  5. Oh, I laughed at #10! Nice list, Christine. I get my best ideas in the car. Hard to write them down if I'm the one driving, so I just keep repeating them until I get to a stopping place.

    How about constantly analyzing as you read published novels? I can't just read a book for entertainment anymore, as much as I'd like to. Seems like I can't help noticing if the author uses too many passive verbs, too many adverbs, not enough action to grab me from the start, etc. And I always wonder, where was the editor on that one?

  6. I love this! Especially searching for words to describe something. I always find myself looking for the best way to phrase what I'm seeing, even if it has nothing to do with the book I'm writing. It can be exhausting!

  7. Oh, I love this list. How about -- You're at a social event with real people. They are lovely people enjoying sparkling conversation. Everyone is having a good time except you. You can't wait to get home because your MC just jumped off a moving train to try to reach his girlfriend in time to save her life ... and you NEED to write what happens next. :)

  8. Love this! Paper cuts, not so much anymore. Eyes glazing over when others talk to me because I'm thinking of a scene...oh yeah.

    You might add writer's blindness that strikes when you're home, but clears up when you go to critique group. :)

  9. I love this Christine! Guilty as charged.

  10. I stepped out of the shower yesterday after musing about an idea and had a reflective 'huh, I just came up with a character and story in the shower' moment. Was neat. By the time I finished typing my notes to myself while wrapped in a towel, I didn't need to use it to dry off.